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The Best Dishes Eater Editors Ate This Week

Cantonese seafood, Korean fried chicken, and more

A lobster in a sizzling pot on top of noodles.
Whole lobster braise with soft noodles at Ping’s.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

The amount of excellent food available in New York City is dizzying — even during a pandemic — yet mediocre meals somehow keep worming their way into our lives. With Eater editors dining out sometimes several times a day, we do come across lots of standout dishes, and we don’t want to keep any secrets. Check back weekly for the best things we ate this week — so you can, too.

November 28

Whole lobster braise with soft noodles at Ping’s

Chuen Ping Hui was arguably one of the city’s first Chinese celebrity chefs. Schooled in Hong Kong technique, and focusing on scintillatingly fresh seafood, he was chef at Triple Eight Palace on East Broadway before founding his own place called Ping’s on the last block of Mott Street in the ’90s. Naturally, the focus was on seafood, and one of his most famous dishes was lobster with e-fu noodles, known on today’s menu as “whole lobster braise with soft noodles and veggies” ($40, market price). The noodles are creamy and soft, the bright red crustacean expertly butchered, making the fluffy meat easy to extract. As food in the Cantonese style tends to be, the flavors are simple and subtle, showcasing the lobster itself with green onion flourishes. And Ping’s, with Ping still in charge, motors though the current century still producing amazing Canonese food, and dim sum, too. 22 Mott Street between Mosco and Worth streets, Chinatown — Robert Sietsema, senior critic

A basket filled with bits of glazed boneless chicken is topped with sesame seeds and scallion.
A basket of boneless fried chicken at K-Top.
Luke Fortney/Eater NY

Cluckin’ hot chicken at K-Top

A new wave of Korean fried chicken restaurants has opened in recent years, selling glazed, boneless chicken in buckets, cups, and baskets — sometimes with Korean snacks and street foods. Some of my favorites include Peep’s Kitchen, a takeout counter in Greenpoint that’s never quite gotten the buzz it deserves, and Chick of Us, a newer spot on the Lower East Side that I learned about on TikTok this month. Still, K-Top, a small restaurant off of Williamsburg’s Metropolitan Avenue, must be the best I’ve found so far. Its chicken is uniquely crispy, served in a generous portion with sesame seeds and thin scallion for $15. There’s a few flavors to choose from, and I went the one called Cluckin’ Hot, which had me dabbing sweat from my forehead a few bites later. 639 Driggs Avenue, between Metropolitan Avenue and North Fourth Street, Williamsburg — Luke Fortney, reporter

A selection of dishes in bowls at Zaab Zaab.
Larb ped udon and various stews and soups.
Emma Orlow/Eater NY

Larb ped udon at Zaab Zaab

I’ve heard so much Eater chatter about Zaab Zaab, the spicy Elmhurst Thai restaurant, that I knew my time had come. I stopped by the follow-up Williamsburg location, which I’m told has even more seafood and more seats, and ordered the larb ped udon ($19) with duck breast, fried liver, and skin at the Isan level (second highest spice). The larb is incredibly bright, packed with mint, makrut lime leaves, and fried garlic — with punches of fish sauce and lime juice. It was just what I needed to clear out my sinuses. 208 Grand Street, near Driggs Avenue, Williamsburg — Emma Orlow, reporter

November 21

A red bowl filled with noodles and medium dark broth.
The original truffle shoyu soba at Tsuta.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Truffle shoyu soba at Tsuta

When it opened last Friday, I stood in line for an hour at Fulton Landing newcomer Tsuta, a Japanese import ramen house that garnered one star from Michelin in 2016. The wait was well worth it. From a choice of five bowls, I picked the signature, known as original truffle shoyu soba. I should point out that the word “soba” here does not refer to buckwheat noodles, but is short for chuka soba or shina soba, which are ramen noodles designated according to era of origin. The noodles are a little softer and more supple than usual, and of average circumference. The broth, based on chicken and shrimp, is lighter than most in town, and mildly flavored with soy sauce, truffle oil, and parsley, the latter in particular imparting a welcome earthy flavor. My bowl, with an add-on egg, came to $25, and while I wouldn’t say it’s the best ramen I’ve had, it was quite good and lighter than most, with less broth — which is good, since how often are you left with too much salty ramen soup in the bottom of a bowl? 22 Old Fulton Street, at Everit Street, Dumbo — Robert Sietsema, senior critic

A takeout tray full of sweet carrot, raisin, aromatic rice, and lamb shank with a bone on.
Lamb shank is served on the bone.
Luke Fortney/Eater NY

Qabuli palow at Kebab on Wheels

Qabuli palow, a rice dish characterized by almonds, carrots, raisins, and aromatic grains, is commonly served at Afghan weddings and parties, the owner of Kebab on Wheels tells me. He serves what must be one of the only versions of the dish made in a food truck kitchen in downtown Manhattan. Aren’t we lucky. Sixteen dollars get you a takeout container of carrots, raisins, and rice tasting heavily of cumin and cardamom. After a few shovelfuls, you’ll strike gold: A tender hunk of lamb shank that’s served right on the bone. Find it listed among Philly cheesesteaks, fish and chips, and maybe a dozen other items on the food truck, which appeared near our Broad Street offices earlier this month. Parked at the corner of Broad and Pearl streets, Financial District — Luke Fortney, reporter

An overhead photograph of a bowl of Cheez-Its, cashews, peanuts, and other snacks.
Cheez-Its, sesame twists, and stunning city views.
Nat Beklov/Eater NY

Salty Sea Snax aboard the Manhattan

The Architecture Institute of America has teamed up with local tour company Classic Harbor Line to offer a marathon of an excursion circumnavigating the island of Manhattan aboard the gorgeous and aptly named yacht Manhattan. With out-of-towners in tow, my advice is always to skip the overcrowded Circle Line and take your party on this three-hour tour that strikes a good balance between touring and non-narrated leisurely boat cruise. Aboard, my mom can sip a glass of bubbly from the cozy interior cabin while my Dad ogles buildings from the foredeck — it’s a win-win for all. One thing we couldn’t stop scarfing handfuls of was the proprietary bar nuts mix listed as Salty Sea Snax ($4). Avoid the overpriced, undersized cheeseboard and instead opt for this bowl of Cheez-Its, cashews, peanuts, sesame twists and more. With a cold beverage and the most stunning views, it’s a perfect pair. Tours board at Pier 62, Chelsea Piers — Nat Belkov, design director

Green tea blancmange sits inside an ornamental cup on a red plate; a gold spoon lies on the plate
The green tea blancmange at Ginza Onodera.
Ryan Sutton/Eater NY

Green tea blancmange at Ginza Onodera

I’m still daydreaming about my lunch omakase at Ginza Onodera, a 90-minute respite from the hustle and bustle of Midtown. Perhaps you’re wondering what the heck I’m doing at a restaurant where the full tasting is $450? Well, remember that lunch here is a more accessible $180, service-included (there’s a $130 option, too). I could go on about the tart gizzard shad nigiri or the smoky barracuda, but you already know you’re going to get fine fish at Ondera. What I didn’t expect, however, was to fall in love with a blancmange. Panna cotta-style desserts are typically forgettable, phoned-in affairs, I find, but this was just the opposite. A layer of coconut milk wiggled and jiggled at the bottom of an ornamental cup, bound by so little gelatin or cornstarch that it seemed as if it was on the verge of turning back into liquid form. A verdant crown of matcha sauce sat atop the pudding, jolting the palate with a gentle bitterness as the tropical aromas lingered on. Honestly, you could serve an omakase of this! 461 Fifth Avenue, near 40th Street, Midtown — Ryan Sutton, chief critic

November 14

Tater tot dan bing at Wenwen

Wenwen’s dan bing is a bit of a misnomer. In its most literal sense, it might be a dan bing (which translates roughly to egg crepe or egg pancake), but it’s not the egg and thin crepe you’d traditionally expect. Instead, the Greenpoint restaurant takes a flaky scallion pancake-type dough and layers it with a lightly cooked egg where the yolk is still runny ($14). Tater tots, cheese, and scallions are folded in and rolled up, then sliced and presented the way you might see dan bing at a Taiwanese breakfast stall. It’s a brilliant invention on Wenwen’s brunch menu that just happens to be my dream mash-up of a California breakfast burrito and a scallion pancake wrap. 1025 Manhattan Avenue, between Green and Freeman streets, Greenpoint — Stephanie Wu, editor in chief

A pool of yellow gravy next to a hump of white rice.
Aji de gallina with corn nuts and boiled eggs.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Aji de gallina at Warique

When the first cold spell of autumn rolls in, presaging winter, I like to find myself a serving of aji de gallina. This quintessential recipe starts with chicken pulled off the bone and dumped into a pot along with aji amarillo, Peru’s favorite pepper. But this spiciness is then mellowed with a milk-and-cheese sauce, a few potatoes, boiled eggs, and an olive here and there. I found it this year at Warique ($18) in East Williamsburg, a year-old sit-down spot more comfortable than the rotisserie chicken joints that constitute the lion’s share of the city’s Peruvian restaurants. And I vowed to come back for the salchipapas, and the mountain of fried seafood called jalea. There’s an older branch of the restaurant in Jackson Heights. 181 Graham Avenue, between Meserole and Scholes streets, Williamsburg — Robert Sietsema, senior critic

Rice cakes and charred sausages are impaled on a skewer with sauce.
Rice bubbles outnumber sausages on this skewer.
Luke Fortney/Eater NY

Sotteok at Chick of Us

By the time I stumbled upon this TikTok about the sotteok at Chick of Us, it already had some 600,000 likes. I’ve seen restaurants go viral online enough times to know what comes next: Popular video leads to lines down the block leads to me waiting until the hype dies down months later. Not this time. I stopped by the small space the next day and ordered a rice cake and sausage skewer ($7) with a cup of fried chicken — before learning it would be an hour wait. (I fared better than the people who arrived when I returned at 7 p.m., who were told that orders were closed for the night.) After waiting 60 minutes, the skewer with alternating bits of charred hot dog and crispy rice cake was gone in 60 seconds. 205 Allen Street, near East Houston Street, Lower East Side — Luke Fortney, reporter

Caviar served in an eggshell presented in a silver dome.
The chawanmushi course at Les Troix Chevaux.
Melissa McCart/Eater NY

Chawamushi d’huitres et truffles blanches at Les Trois Chevaux

I visited Angie Mar’s Les Trois Chevaux in Greenwich Village on Saturday for her glorious degustation menu; I loved the interplay of courses, so it’s a challenge to pick just one, but for the purposes of this piece, I’m going to highlight the chawanmushi d’huitres et truffles blanches, an oyster custard with truffles and caviar; it’s eaten out of an eggshell with a mother-of-pearl spoon. I went for the eight courses and it was the second course, but there’s also a four-course option. Either way, it’s a $125 deposit on Open Table or Resy. Should you go? If you can swing it for a special occasion, yes. The dining room is swanky and elegant; the people-watching is fantastic, and you’ll be treating yourself to a special meal from one of the city’s top-tier chefs. 283 W. 12th Street, near Eighth Avenue, West Village — Melissa McCart, editor

A bowl of soup with a metal ladle in a black pot.
Little Grenjai’s residency at Ostudio.
Emma Orlow/Eater NY

Thai wedding soup with Texas toast at Ostudio

I try to make it over to at least one of the pop-ups I document each week on our weekly guide. Last week, I headed over to Ostudio to check out the final days of Little Grenjai’s residency, from the “Brooklyn takeout joint that got its start on Thai Tinder.” We ordered basically the whole menu — Masaman curry with short rib, chicken satay with peanut sauce, and nam prik — but what stood out to me the most was a dish we almost didn’t order, since soups usually aren’t always great for groups. The Thai-style wedding soup ($18) was loaded up with fish sauce, meatballs, and greens with an unlikely pairing of sweet Texas toast — and was a really nice way to ease into the weather dropping. While the residency is finished at Ostudio, Little Grenjai is opening a Bed-Stuy restaurant next year, so keep your eyes peeled. 366 Stockton Street, near Broadway, Bed-Stuy — Emma Orlow, reporter

November 7

Two people wielding chopsticks and spoons fight for bites of a fish stew.
Friends spar over bean curd.
Luke Fortney/Eater NY

Boiled fish with pickled mustard greens at Fish With You

Credit goes to Hell Gate for spotting this Sichuan restaurant in Flushing, the first U.S. outpost of a chain with over 1,000 locations in China. (Hopefully the first of many here in New York.) Fish stews served in various colors and heat levels are the main event, and we ordered two on stop one of a weekend food crawl: the “golden” fish soup, which came out more of a bronze, and a hot boiled fish stew that’s described as a “must order” in probably a dozen different places on the menu, walls, and front door ($17.95). We listened, of course, and a few minutes later, out came a white bowl overflowing with bits of snakehead (scales still on), charred red chiles (not too spicy and worth sucking on for some more flavor), and pickled mustard greens, reminding me of a fast-casual version of the boiled fish at Guan Fu nearby. If only I lived within delivery range. 135-25a 40th Road, between Main and Prince streets, Flushing — Luke Fortney, reporter

French fries smothered in multiple ingredients and sauces.
Love’s salchipapas at Love’s Kitchen.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Love’s Salchipapas at Love’s Kitchen

Salchipapas is sometimes regarded as a children’s meal: french fries tossed with hot dog morsels carved with a knife and fried, then the whole thing is doused with ketchup. At Love’s Kitchen — a pan-Latin diner located near a graveyard in the heart of Kew Gardens, Queens — the dish has been transformed into a satisfying main course for anyone. This species of dressed fries also incorporates a boiled egg, fresh jalapenos, pickled purple onions, and crumbled chorizo sauced with chipotle mayo and, yes, ketchup ($17). Every bite is a sloppy and tasty mess, so keep a pile of napkins handy. While salchipapas are often considered Ecuadorian, Peruvian, or Colombian, the menu at Love’s Kitchen also abounds in Mexican, Dominican, and American diner classics. 125-02 84th Road, at 125th Street, Kew Gardens — Robert Sietsema, senior critic

Lobster frites at Pastis

This is November, yet marathon day in New York was straight up hot. I’ll allow it. To extend the summertime illusion, my companion and I dropped by the bar at Pastis for some rose wine and a really big lobster ($68). You can spend a ton of money on shellfish anywhere in New York, but this particular maritime affair, drenched in garlic and parsley butter, remains a heck of a deal. The sweet meat comes spilling out of the shell, almost as if the creature’s natural casing was insufficient to hold all of its delicious insides. Sure, this city will be in perpetual darkness until March — a statement that will be metaphorically true for even longer pending the results of tomorrow’s elections — but on Sunday, we found the sun. That is to say, we inhaled the aroma of the sea in Meatpacking while dredging golden fries through liquid butter. 52 Gansevoort Street, near Greenwich Street, Meatpacking — Ryan Sutton, chief critic

A hand holds a slice Italian sandwich on a hero.
Get an Italian lemon soda to wash it all down.
Emma Orlow/Eater NY

Muffuletta at Faicco’s Italian Specialties

I was in the West Village this weekend to support friends having a vintage pop-up and was looking for a quick takeout lunch that I could have somewhere on a stoop. I stopped into Faicco’s, an Italian deli open since 1900. To get me in the mood for a winter trip to New Orleans, I went for the muffuletta sandwich ($19), said to be brought to Louisiana by way of Sicilian immigrants. At Faicco’s, they use an olive tapenade, versus the chunky green olive salad with carrots, cauliflower, and celery that a classic version might have. But it was exactly what I was looking for all the same: I snarfed down half, hoping the owner of the townhouse I was sitting in front of wouldn’t open the door and shoo me away, and saved the rest for dinner. 260 Bleecker Street, between Morton and Leroy streets, Greenwich Village — Emma Orlow, reporter

What looks like monkey bread with a quenelle of creme fraiche.
Comté and onion bread at Monterey in Midtown.
Melissa McCart/Eater NY

Comté and onion bread with chive creme fraiche at Monterey

Miami vibes have arrived in Midtown at this new art-deco-inspired restaurant from restaurateur Simon Oren. In a pink-hued dining room that has a feel of a cruise ship, chef James Tracey — who, before heading up Isabelle’s Osteria in Flatiron, was a culinary director for Stephen Starr restaurants — offers a menu of monkfish liver, head-on, New Orleans-style barbecue prawns, and salmon-belly, as well as an of-the-moment Castelfranco salad, and prime rib. It’s an easy place to remain keto, but don’t: Get the savory-sweet onion bread ($18), share it with the table, and you’ll be glad you did. 37 E. 50th Street, between Madison and Park avenues, Midtown — Melissa McCart, editor